Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Manjunath Babu

Educational Innovation

Class of 2016


Manjunath Babu is currently pursuing a master’s program in computer engineering at Syracuse University, New York, USA. He has a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication engineering. He has worked in the communication networks research area, data systems, automation and software development at his company. He first encountered Mathematica back in 2010 and gave a presentation during his undergrad. Manjunath was selected as a Wolfram Student Ambassador at Syracuse University this year. He was also a mentor from Wolfram Research at the NASA Space Apps Challenge hackathon in 2016 in New York City, encouraging and helping people to build apps using the Wolfram technology stack. He is an avid reader of Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind Of Science book and intends to use these concepts at the Wolfram Summer School.

His interests are data mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing and data visualization and its related areas. In his free time, he solves the Rubik’s Cube blindfolded, listens to tech podcasts, explores Wolfram Community and likes to think about the future of education innovation.

Project: WPL Skill Builder: An Infinite Coding Problem Generator in the Wolfram Programming Language

Going through many practice problems is a great way to solidify your understanding of how the code should work. WPL Skill Builder is a program that generates short problem statements that give immediate feedback on the platform or browser. To explore and solve big problems in the computational universe, a fair amount of knowledge is required to use various combinations of functions. Someone who struggles to understand the capabilities of important functions like NestList, Tuples, Thread and Transpose will find it harder to build toward the bigger picture.

This project aims to enhance Wolfram Programming Language (WPL) skills in students by generating an infinite number of coding practice problems on a selected topic. It also focuses on the complexity of the query, the combination of functions, the leaf count of the solution and alternative approaches, as well as on exercising various options parameters for a given solution.

At the Summer School, I intend to develop a working prototype by taking a small dataset of questions. The future of this project would be to build a personalized website that displays a user profile on the dashboard screen, with various areas of the Wolfram Programming Language listed, like strings, graphics, anonymous functions, datasets, machine learning, sound, real-world data, etc. Based on a pre-assessment test, a user gets his or her performance results. With all weak areas listed, the user can pick a specific area like patterns, cases, select, etc. and continue practicing all kinds of randomly generated questions to strengthen his or her programming skills. The performance results of the entire user base can further be used by the company for detailed training analysis and research.